The eBay Store Benefit Worth Gold

How to use newsletters to increase sales and create repeat customers

by Janelle Elms
- Jan 23, 2009

One of the most underused tools in an eBay Store is also one of its most powerful: the eBay Store newsletter. Why would you want to work so hard to sell to one person and then work really hard again to sell to the next one? A newsletter is a profitable opportunity to not only keep the customers you have, but sell to them over and over again. As an eBay Store owner, you don't have to pay to include a newsletter in your business—it's one of the many benefits that are built into your Store subscription. How about we start using it today to increase your bottom line?

Let's start with where to locate this tool. Head over to "Manage your Store" and locate the E-mail Marketing area under the Store Marketing header. There you will see:

Pending E-mails: These are newsletters you have created but haven't sent yet. This is a great way for you to create newsletters in advance and continue to work on them until you are ready to send them out.

Sent E-mails: This isn't just a depository of e-mails you've already sent. If the basic layout of the e-mail is one you want to use again, you can easily click the "duplicate" button so you aren't starting from scratch with a newsletter. Also, if you click on the title of a sent e-mail, you'll find there are quite a bit of analytics included. The analytics—or statistics about how people responded to your newsletter—are vital to understanding your potential buyers and adjusting your marketing plans. This information includes the number of e-mails sent out, the number of e-mails that were opened and how many items were clicked on, including the Store itself. It also tells you if someone made a bid or did a Buy It Now based upon the newsletter you sent.

Mailing Lists: You can create up to five different mailing lists for your potential customers to sign up for. You don't have to use all five, but this is a great option to allow for niche marketing to different customers. Let's say you're running an eBay business having to do with crafts. You could create individual mailing lists for sewing, knitting and embroidery. Customers could then sign up to receive information from you for just one of them, or all three.

Success Tip: Give your newsletter a catchy title. Go to Manage My Store and click on Mailing Lists under Store Marketing. Click the edit button to the right of the Mailing List that says "General Newsletter." How boring; no one wants to sign up for a "general newsletter." Name it something fun, intriguing and enticing—it should reflect you and your business.

Subscriber Lists: Here you can see the eBay user IDs of all of your sign-ups and the date each one signed up. However, due to eBay policy, you don't have access to their e-mail addresses.

Depending on the level of Store you have, you can send out at least 5,000 e-mails a month for free. With each Store level, the number of newsletters goes up:

  • Basic Store: 5,000
  • Premium Store: 7,500
  • Anchor Store: 10,000

Each additional e-mail over your free allotment will cost a penny.

The process of sending a newsletter couldn't be simpler. Just follow these easy steps to create an e-mail newsletter:

1. Select a template

First, choose what type of newsletter you'll be sending out. These options include newly listed, sale, custom and more. You then pick from six different layouts, which you can preview in your stores' colors.

More than 30 percent of your readers will decide whether they're going to open your e-mail based solely on the subject line

2. Create your e-mail

At this point, you need to choose who will get the newsletter you're creating. Which mailing list(s) do you want to send to? Do you want to send it only to people who have purchased more than 10 items from you? A rewards newsletter perhaps? Do you want to send a unique newsletter to those people who have subscribed within the last 10 days? You are offered a wide variety of options to segment your newsletter.

The next box to fill in is the most important: the subject line of your e-mail. Do not leave the default title that eBay gives you. More than 30 percent of your readers will decide whether they're going to open your e-mail based solely on the subject line. Just like your auction title, you have 55 characters to entice your buyers.

Your personal message, or the body of your newsletter, is next. Keep in mind the newsletter rule that at least 70 percent of your message should be content rather than a sales pitch.

And keep in mind these points when you're creating your newsletter:

  • You may not link outside of eBay.
  • Don't include your telephone number or e-mail address (you can include the "contact seller" link for eBay, though).
  • Make sure you don't include Java script.
  • If you use anything that goes against eBay's policy, you will be required to fix it before you can send your newsletter.

You can finish your newsletter with a showcase of your products and your feedback box.

3. Preview and send

Here are some other good practices for having a successful newsletter:

  • Be consistent. The biggest question I get during newsletter training is, "How often should I send out a newsletter?" The truth is that's up to your audience. But whatever you choose to do, be consistent. Some types of newsletters are sent three times a day; others are sent four times a year. An eBay Store newsletter can go out weekly at the most.
  • Be careful about putting in too many pictures and not enough content. Up to 90 percent of your readers actually view their inboxes with images turned off. Many people are now viewing e-mail on their phones or handhelds and typically can't see images.
  • Remember, you may not contact your buyers outside of the transaction. This means you can't go back and put people on your newsletter list. However, Sales in a Click is a great option, and a tool that allows you to legally capture the e-mail addresses of previous eBay buyers. The company has permission from eBay to send content-filled newsletters to your previous customers on your behalf. These newsletters include your choice of your products, links to your eBay Store and categories.

In the "Newsletters are Worth Gold" training, we walk you step by step through how to set up your eBay Store and outside newsletters for maximum exposure and profit. We have also created a special series of five "1 percent eBay Stores" tips that will be delivered for free to your inbox. You can receive yours at the OSI Newsletter.

About the Author

Janelle Elms is a best-selling author, inspiring educator and Visionaire of the OSI Rock Stars. You can hear her on wsRadio every Wednesday on Ask Janelle Radio. Learn the success information you need to grow your business at For step-by-step training on how to set up an eBay Store for maximum exposure and profit, visit One Percent Coach.

Opinions expressed here may not be shared by Auctiva Corp. and/or its principals.

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